Happy Spring to everyone! Since I’ve retired from the oil industry after working 31 years in the Arctic, I am having difficulty with knowing who I am now.
For so many years, I had a job that motivated me and where I honestly felt needed. However, the last few months have been a struggle for me, and I have found less inspiration than I had expected.
There are benefits to having a job to identify with. By knowing your identity, you’re better able to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be. Well, this is especially true during your retirement years. By redefining who you are and what you need to accomplish in life, you’ll gain a sense of confidence and pride, and your life will have meaning. You won’t feel as though you are living an unfulfilled life.
Below I will share with you some of my insights into making the retirement transition easier:
- Do something productive. People today retire at about 57.5 years and have likely worked for 35-plus years and can expect to live to about age 85 or older. So, they’ll, in essence, spend 45 years in retirement. Therefore, it is paramount that you do something that you enjoy and makes you happy.
- Consider retirement as a commencement. What is your concept of retirement? Hopefully, you’ll see it as a new beginning — a time to grow. Remember, the end of one phase is the start of another. You could use this time to learn French, to travel to foreign lands, to take a new course, or to start a new business. By using your new-found time to make your dreams come true, you can genuinely find purpose.
- Continuing to work. Yes, it is true, you may have retired, but you aren’t dead yet. You can still work a full-time or part-time job or pursue volunteer activities. Either way, the possibilities are endless. The benefits range from keeping yourself busy to earning some extra cash.
- Remain active. By remaining active, you can take control of your physical health and emotional well-being. After all, a healthy body facilitates a healthy mind. Consider joining a yoga, jazzercise or karate class, which will help you both physically and socially.
- Find new goals. Retirement can be the time to find new goals or rekindle old ones. Now that you have time on your hands, you can fulfill those dreams you may have ignored before. Decide what you want to accomplish and achieve.
- Join a worthy cause. By committing yourself to helping others, you will find purpose and meaning in retirement. Not only will this make the world a better place, but it will give you immense pride and a feeling of accomplishment. Recently, I have started volunteering at a local non-profit working with children – only a few weeks into this opportunity. I genuinely enjoy my time with the kids.
- Cultivate a hobby. By pursuing a hobby, you’ll be able to do something that makes you feel good. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a crafter. Well, now is the time to make jewelry and other trinkets that you can give away or, better yet, sell for a profit!
- Maintain a youthful attitude. Just because you are retired does not mean you have to act like you’re ancient! Go bungee jumping, rock climbing, ice skating, skiing, or just travel. By taking action, you’ll maintain a youthful attitude.
- Maintain a positive attitude. By remaining energetic and having a better understanding of what you want out of life, you can find purpose and meaning. Spread your joy and happiness to others. Be a beacon of light, and shine on.
- Refuse to fade away! Take control of your life and realize that you are here for the long haul. Although you may be retired, this is the “beginning, not the end” and you can accomplish all of your personal and professional goals by having faith and perseverance, and by making your dreams a reality. You can be your own “personal best” — retired or not!
Retirement is not the end, but the beginning. You can find purpose and meaning in your life. By refusing to fade away, maintaining a positive attitude, maintaining a youthful position, cultivating a hobby, joining a worthy cause, finding new goals, remaining active, continuing to work, changing your view, and being productive, you can retire successfully. By actively choosing what’s next, you will have meaning and purpose in your life.
My coaching business has inspired me to support others in transition. Please contact me, and we can discuss your next steps.